Seattle restaurant industry ranked 4th worst for post-COVID recovery » Publications » Washington Policy Center


According to a study by Fox News. The study focuses on the hospitality sector, one of the hardest hit by state-mandated closures. The conclusion is supported by data from the popular OpenTable app.

Recovery rates vary by country, with the slowest recovery seen in Minneapolis (down 54% since pre-COVID) and the fastest recovering city is Las Vegas, up 35 %. Seattle has seen a 41% drop in diners over the past 2 years.

The sample size was over 20,000 restaurants.

The Washington Policy Center has pointed out in several articles and one study compare the effects of the lockdown between states. Severe government-imposed lockdowns, such as restrictions in Washington state, have not had a significant effect on COVID transmission rates. However, the lockdowns have had a significant effect on long-term economic growth and the stability of small businesses. Clearly, we are now seeing the results of the state’s overly aggressive lockdown policies.

Ten slowest cities for restaurant recovery

Minneapolis (-54%)
San Francisco (-46%)
Portland (-45%)
Seattle (-41%)
Philadelphia (-39%)
New York (-38%)
St. Louis (-28%)
Washington, D.C. (-27%)
Baltimore (-25%)
Chicago (-23%)

For Minneapolis and Seattle, the additional political decision to withdraw funding for law enforcement and the resulting civil unrest and increased crime also contributed to diners staying away from venues at eat downtown.

Seattle in recent months has seen several major companies are closing stores downtown, posing security concerns for their employees and customers.

The anti law enforcement Seattle City Council policies and the recent legislation passed by the Washington State Legislature directly contributed to security problems in Seattle and other areas. The good news is that by reversing course, repealing punitive laws against law enforcement, and prosecuting criminals, business should pick up in downtown Seattle. Internal Bill 2037adopted by the legislature in 2022, is a first step in this direction, but there is still much to be done.

The impact on the labor market has been significant. New York City lost 4,500 restaurants with a loss of 50,000 jobs according to the report.

Seattle sees a similar orient yourself.

Cities in states that had no restrictions or minimal restrictions, restaurant activity rebounded and in some cases, particularly in Florida where restrictions were lifted early, saw double-digit growth compared to the number of pre-COVID restaurants.

The Washington Legislature must continue to consider additional legislation to restore law enforcement’s ability to enforce the laws on the books. This will reduce the increase in crime seen across the state, especially in the Seattle metro area.

Moreover, as the data has clearly shown, extended government-imposed lockdowns provide no public health benefit (including the dubious constitutional problems created by mandatory lockdowns) as originally asserted and should not be considered. as a solution in the event of a public health emergency.

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Cecil N. Messick